Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Helping Hands and Mighty Companions

This present turn into my sixth decade has opened a fascinating and unexpected space. I watch the pendulum swing back into the early days when I was moving through the world dreaming of life as an artist. It was a bumpy start. I had been violently pitched out of the system and had to invent a way to stay alive. Yoga was my first life line, I made attempts each day to stop the panic attacks by learning how to breathe s l o w l y. Without dwelling on the drama it is possible to state that I was well educated at 18 years of age in the awareness that there are at all times 'Helping Hands' to assist when it seems that all is lost.

It was then that I met my angel Alice Twitchell. I have no doubt that we each saved the other's life in the summer of 1968 even though I never spoke directly of my traumas and I didn't learn of hers until 26 years later as we sat at a campfire on her land in New Mexico. I didn't know until then that she had lost her 18 year old daughter in a car crash 6 months before I arrived on the farm.

In the summer of 1968 I traveled with an acquaintance to the 300 acre Twitchell farm in Southern Ohio and possibility wrapped its arms about me like a life preserver pitched to a drowning soul.

I have twenty six years of magnificent, extraordinary letters from Alice. I've written memoirs about her and I keep a photo of her on my desk at all times. Thirty years my senior, artist/sculptor/painter/yoga practitioner/Baha i/gardener/advanced soul, she demonstrated an extraordinary level of balance and peace that I wanted with all my heart to emulate.

Her handmade life and her environment were intoxicating in their natural earthy beauty and simplicity. Her lifestyle gave me a visual imprint of what I wanted my own sweet life to look like. I have wavered not a day.

A year after I met Alice I began a relationship that included regular travels to Cape Cod. My first stay was in South Truro and my second brought me to the enchanted cottage owned by Lenore Tawny in the Wellfleet area where a good friend was housesitting for the summer. Everywhere my eye turned, indoors or out, I felt wrapped about by images and inspiration of the possible. I was beginning to see evidence of what life as a Woman Artist could be.

This India ink drawing on newsprint paper, 9x12 inches was done in 1971 in my then fanciful style during my solitary wandering on the isolated Wellfleet beach.

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